Focus on the Three Points

IT will be familiar surroundings for defender Niall Canavan on Saturday afternoon and a chance for Argyle to build on the momentum of a fine win over Gillingham in midweek.

After spending the first seven years of his professional career at Scunthorpe, Niall moved to Rochdale before signing at Home Park in the summer and the focus is on three points for the Pilgrims on Saturday afternoon.

Scunthorpe are enduring a tough run of four successive defeats and there is renewed belief in the Argyle squad following Tuesday’s fine display in Sky Bet League One, although the camp mood has never dipped through a difficult start to the campaign.

“Anybody would like to perform at their former club and definitely one [fixture] that I look out for,” said Niall. “It’s the second time I’ve been back there and hopefully a positive one this time. I’m going there to do a job and focussed on that.

“It hasn’t been a down camp or a dip in enthusiasm but we were buzzing after the game [against Gillingham]. It feels a little bit easier to smile and long may that continue. There are plenty of lads in there [the dressing room] who are positive all the time and that’s been the general mood.

“We were disappointed with the previous two results but we have to take this as an opportunity to start pegging our way up. There was a great run of form here last season and I’ve been involved in one at Rochdale, where we went from bottom to fourth.

“It can happen like that; it’s one of those leagues where anyone can pick three points from anywhere. It’s not been the started we wanted but there have been positive signs in a lot of the games.

“Hopefully, we can keep creeping over the line. The mood after the game on Tuesday was great and the gaffer has said he just left us alone to enjoy it.”

There was particular satisfaction for Niall against Gillingham, forming a new defensive partnership with Yann Songo’o, after missing over a month through injury.

The Irishman endured a torrid year in the treatment room at Rochdale last year and that sinking feeling returned when he went down injured after just five minutes of the Blackpool game in September.

“It’s a real kick in the teeth [to get injured],” said Niall. “It’s well known I had surgery last year and I felt like I was a ready to find my feet, and settle into the game, so that shot me down early.

“It was compounded by the fact my wife had come down with my little boy Liam and, after the game, I felt like the world was against me but it’s part and parcel of football.

“You get your head around what’s happened and it’s all gone according to plan now. It’s not nice to be injured and watching the boys, especially when results are not going how you want. It only makes you want to be out there more.

“Thankfully, the gaffer put me back in there and there was plenty of communication [with Yann]. It was a good partnership and Freddie [Ladapo] said after the game it would be a long afternoon playing against me and Yann.

“It’s nice to here someone say that who is giving other teams lots of problems and gives us a lot of confidence moving forward.”